With Chinese New Year today, what better opportunity to come up with a tasty new homemade takeaway recipe! Chinese cooking isn’t something I’ve ventured much into, but it’s always been The Boyfriend’s favourite takeaway and I was given a Ken Hom cookbook for Christmas a couple of years ago which I’ve used it to learn a little more about the cuisine. Black bean sauce dishes have always been my favourite on the Chinese takeaway menu and since I’ve always wanted to learn how to make everything I love to eat from scratch, I thought this would be a great fakeaway to make just in time for Chinese New Year.
In China, the celebration of the New Year, according to the lunisolar Chinese calendar, is a very important festival and is celebrated over several days with varying traditions, many of which revolve around food. Giving gifts of money is also a very big part of Chinese New Year so please feel free to send any monetary gifts my way! On Friday we’ll be entering the Year of The Dog, supposedly a year of hope. If you believe in the astrology of the Zodiac then the coming year of the dog will be good for familial relationships and a good time to make lifestyle changes. To me, this sounds like an excellent time to ditch the takeaways and learn to cook them from scratch.
I always thought that Chinese cooking was supposed to be really complicated and involve all sorts of unusual ingredients, but with the exception of the rice wine everything else I’d be likely to buy anyway. Even the rice wine was available in my local Sainsbury’s and was only £2.70. In terms of difficulty this dish really couldn’t be any simpler, we’ve all cooked a stir-fry in our time and this was just as quick and easy as the many midweek meal versions I’ve made before.
I chose to serve this dish with egg fried rice and chilli and garlic greens, but you could easily add some peppers into the stir fry dish to bulk it out with vegetables instead of having them on the side or serve with noodles if that’s your preference. For the greens I simply steamed them before tossing in a pan with some gently fried garlic and chilli.
This dish is great as a Friday night alternative to your takeaway and will be much better for your waistline and your wallet. Why not invite your friends round for a Chinese New Year dinner party and impress everyone with your new found Asian cookery skills?
For the meat and marinade:
350g pork fillet, thinly sliced
1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour
For the sauce:
3 spring onions finely chopped (reserve the dark green ends for decoration)
1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
1.5 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the sliced pork in a bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to marinade for at least half an hour. If you’re preparing rice and other dishes this would be a good time to prep and start cooking all of those.
2. Bring a wok or large frying pan to a high temperature and heat half of the sesame oil.
3. Add the pork to the pan and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until mostly browned. Keep all of the ingredients constantly moving around the pan. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
4. Wipe the pan clean with kitchen towel before adding the rest of the sesame oil. Add the black beans, shallots and most of the spring onions to the pan.
5. Add the soy sauce, sugar and water to the pan, continuously stirring. Bring the liquid to a boil and return the pork to the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
6. Transfer the stir fry to a serving dish and scatter over the reserved spring onions.